Today I was struggling, again, with seeing my worth. I get caught up in what I see. God helped me to see the difference between “wrapping” and the value of the gift inside. You see I am quite challenged at gift wrapping, but I don’t get upset about it because I know it doesn’t change the value of the gift inside. You can wrap poop in a beautiful box but it’s still poop. Likewise, you could wrap a beautiful and rare gemstone in a paper bag with duct tape to seal it, and that gemstone is still valuable.
Of course, my ADHD brain took off after that bunny. I’ve seen people who put poop into composts. They probably add other good stuff but mostly they add time, and they add a little effort and pretty soon they have this rich healthy stuff that they add to their gardens. That compost becomes healthy dirt that enables strong new life to grow. If you add time and a little effort that dirt creates more life that creates more dirt. Eventually that dirt gets packed down and the pressure of life creates rocks. Given the right circumstances and the right ingredients those rocks become gemstones. If those gemstones are pulled out of the rock, and the rough edges are chiseled away, the rock becomes something even more beautiful and rare. And it becomes more valuable.
Conversely, if you put poop on top of more poop and you keep adding poop and you do not give it time, it becomes sewage. Sewage will infect the dirt around it and make it unclean and unsafe. It can contaminate the water making it unclean and unsafe. Even if you put that sewage in a gorgeous box, it’s still sewage.
I saw the connection to who I am as a person and that original box of poop. My actions sometimes stink. I’m not as kind as I should be. I think of myself first, and I judge others too harshly. Given time, especially if I fill that time with time spent in the word or in prayer, those actions – that sin becomes empathy. I start seeing those actions through a lens of how I’ve been hurt or hurt others. If that empathy is put in the right conditions, it becomes Godly action where I breathe His love into someone else, or perhaps stop adding new poop to the pile. That love infused into someone else, can become new life. Perhaps a seed or the water to bring them closer to seeing God. Until there are many seeds and watered seeds creating new life and growing life.
The pressure of everyday hardens us. It pushes us and molds us. As long as we are still infusing God’s love into our lives, we become stronger. We become the rock that things can be built on. We provide stability for God’s love to blossom. But until God chisel’s away our rough edges we’re just a rock with the potential of being a gem. If we fight that growth because sometimes it’s painful, we will never reach that full potential.
Life is often hard. It cheats and it doesn’t care that there is pain. When I look back on my life, some of the hardest most painful times in my life also contained some of my fondest memories. There are times that I didn’t think I could go on, and that moment created strength that I didn’t know I had. I don’t really remember any time that was free of some sort of drama or pain. I realize often sometimes that’s my own fault because I don’t always see the consequences of my choices before I make them. Still, I have no memories of life being perfect in every aspect.
Which brings me back to this morning, where I have a good job that I like with people I like working with. I have a great husband and fabulous kids and amazing grandkids that love me and fill my life with wonder. I have sweet pets that fill my life with unconditional love. I have a great home that brings me pleasure, and I can afford my bills and my indulgences. Yet this morning, I looked in the mirror and only saw the paper bag wrapping sealed with duct tape. I didn’t see the gem that God has been building in me. I, for a moment, forgot how content I am in life right now, because of that wrapping that I felt ashamed of. That wrapping that adds no value to who I am and does not take away from the gift God has been creating in me.
It’s taken time and reflection to get me to this place. You’ve probably seen my journey through these blogs. Today, I choose to see the gem God is creating in me and to give it time, and effort. I choose to let God chisel away at those rough edges and TRUST Him that the good work He is creating in me, is not finished. But it’s going to be amazing.
By Vicki L. Pugliese